Management / Few FTSE companies have chief customer officer, says research

Few FTSE companies have chief customer officer, says research

There is a lack of customer experience focus at a senior level in both FTSE 100 and FTSE AIM 100 customers, according to analysis by customer management consultancy People TECH.

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The analysis found only 1 per cent of FTSE companies have a chief customer officer or equivalent on the board, while a further 15 per cent have someone on the board with a specific customer-focused remit.

High-growth firms on the FTSE AIM 100 fared even worse – none of those have a chief customer officer (or equivalent) on the board and only 2 per cent have someone on the board with a specific customer-focused remit.

Many organisations have predicted the increasing importance of customer experience, including a Gartner study that predicted by 2016, 89 per cent of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience. Now we are in 2016, are brands doing enough at board level to ensure that providing a high quality customer experience is a priority for them?

Mike Hughes, managing director of PeopleTECH, said: “Customer experience is everything – if a brand is not delivering this then its customers will simply go elsewhere. It’s a conversation that must be happening at board level and it is worrying that so few FTSE 100 and FTSE AIM 100 companies don’t have someone on the board to make that conversation happen.

“Providing a good customer experience is the new battleground for brands and this starts with a commitment from the top. How can a company exhort its employees to put the customer first if there is no one at a leadership level taking personal responsibility for that?

Senior management teams fared a little better in the study. There were 11 per cent of FTSE companies that have a chief customer officer (or equivalent) on their senior management teams or executive committees, with an additional 12 per cent having someone with a specific customer-focused remit.

Just 2 per cent of FTSE AIM 100 companies have a chief customer officer (or equivalent) on their SMT, with a further 5 per cent having someone on the SMT with a specific customer-focused remit.

Hughes said: “Not having a chief customer officer on the board or even the senior management team, does not necessarily mean that organisation is not focused on providing a good customer experience. But the sheer lack of numbers doing so would suggest that many brands are happy to talk about customer experience but are less willing to commit senior resource to it.”

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